Placed on the disabled list in mid-May with a quadriceps injury and then demoted to Triple-A once healthy last month, Pedro Alvarez is back in the majors thanks to the Pirates putting outfielder Alex Presley on the DL.
Just last week manager Clint Hurdle indicated that recalling Alvarez wasn’t in the team’s immediate plans and clubhouse attendants clearing out his locker a few days ago seemingly cemented that status, but Presley’s thumb injury changed things apparently.
Alvarez has played well since the demotion, hitting .365 with three homers and a 1.048 OPS in 18 games, and his 18/12 K/BB ratio is a big improvement over both his 161/49 K/BB ratio in the majors and previous marks in the minors.
He hit just .208 with two homers and a .587 OPS in 36 games for the Pirates before the injury and Alvarez may have to impress right away in order to remain in Pittsburgh down the stretch, because Presley’s bruised thumb isn’t expected to sideline him for very long.
Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.
Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.
This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.
If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.
Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.